tv MSNBC Live MSNBC March 26, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
implications for millions of americans and the fall election. the focus of today's discussion, a 19th century act that raises the first key question -- at&t justices rule on this law before it has fully taken effect. the crucial question, will justices rule along the partisan line that they were appointed? or will ideological sides come together and reaffirm this law? this weekend, partisans on both sides of the issue gave their opening arguments. >> i guarantee this, and i don't make many guarantees -- by the end of this decade, we're going to be glad the republicans called this obamacare. >> this presidency has been a failure. at the centerpiece of this failure is this piece of legislation back here, obamacare. >> and we're learning rick santorum plans to take his campaign to the steps of the supreme court in an event scheduled for 12:20 p.m. eastern time. right now, though, andrew pinkas joins me. he's argued 23 cases in front of
the supreme court and served as assistant to the solicitor general during the reagan administration. sir, it's good to have you with us this morning. as i was saying in our intro here, we've got three days of this, what many are calling a marathon for the high court in arguments. these justices were selected by a republican and democratic presidents alike. explain to all of us the decision process here. do you think it's going to be along the partisan lines that have been created or will justices put majority support behind the law? >> well, i hope it won't be. i think we're obviously going to see -- we may get some clues from the arguments today and in the next couple of days, although my guess is they're going to be pretty evenhanded in asking tough questions of both sides. but at the end of the day, if i had to guess, i would say the law is going to be upheld and it probably will not be a party line, as it were. >> is the biggest indication of that is that it was approved by the legislature and then by the executive branch and now because before the high court, the
trifecta of our government? >> the supreme court said its authority to overturn what the people's represented have decided on -- an awesome power, one they don't exercise lightly. so i think you'll see some restraint in wanting to step into this and set aside something that deals with a problem that everybody recognizes is a very significant national problem. >> so you've been through the gauntlet before facing the solicitor general, danld v varelli. tell us the emotional and the intellectual toll that three days of arguments are going to take on these attorneys? >> three days will take an intellectual toll because we have four distinct legal issues the court is going to consider. but it's a physical toll.
most arguments today are an hour. half an hour a side and you're done. this is much more of a marathon. my guess is both lawyers are arguing three out of the four issues. they will want to marshal their energy. they have to prepare for today and then go home tonight and study for the next one. >> it's a marathon, not a sprint. andrew, great to have you on today, thank you. >> thank you. our big story, one month ago today that florida teen trayvon martin was shot and killed just yards from his family's home. and today, 30 days after their son's death, his parents will be among the thousands expected to rally tonight in sanford. they will also attend this evening's city commission meeting which has been moved from its regular location to sanford's convention center. his parents will make a public plea for justice flanked by such notables as msnbc's own al sharpton, ray lewis and comedian sinbad. as calls for trayvon's shooter
continue to boil over, his friends are defending him in public waves, taking to the airwaves in an attempt to clear his name. >> from what i know, the bottom line is, there was a life-and-death struggle in that instance. and someone was going to die. >> nbc news correspondent ron allen joins me live from sanford where the city manager is going to be holding a news conference within the hour. bring us up to speed about the march and about george zimmerman's side and how his friends are trying to get his story out there. >> reporter: well, the organizers of this march are trying to surpass the 20,000 to 25,000 people who were here last week for a demonstration to mark the anniversary and to support the family as they address the city commission in this town. all around this area, there are roads blocked off, there's extra security. government offices are closing early because they accommodate -- they anticipate they're going to have to accommodate such a big crush of people. and you're right, zimmerman
supporters are speaking out publicly. there's also a story that just appeared in the local orlando newspaper that gives a fairly graphic account of what they insist happened, describing a scenario where trayvon martin punches zimmerman in the nose, knocks him to the ground and then jumps on top of him, banging his head on the ground, bloodying him, that according to zimmerman's supporters is when he takes out his gun and fires the fatal bullet into trayvon martin's chest. we don't know if that's true or not. and the martin family says if zimmerman doesn't try to act like a cop, none of this happens. another big day here yet again. thomas? >> nbc's ron allen in sanford for us, ron, thanks so much. joining our discussion this morning is msnbc contributor and "washington post" writer jonathan capehart and mark thompson. gentlemen, good to have you here. as we're hearing from ron allen just reporting on zimmerman's friends coming to his defense, i
want to play for everybody his attorney speaking out about his injuries on the "today" show this morning. take a listen. >> george zimmerman suffer add broken nose, injury to the back of his head and signs of a scuffle, being a grass stain on the back of his shirt. >> so hearing those details, jonathan, we know that the lawyer most likely is going to be invoking the "stand your ground" law. is there any real evidence to back up these claims of self-defense if there aren't witness witnesses, if trayvon's not here to speak for himself? how is he supposed to frame that argument? >> that's what we're going to find out with the grand jury that's going to get started on april 10th and also the justice department and the fbi are also doing their parallel investigation. we've known about the bloody nose. we've known about the grass stains on the back of the shirt. we've known about the bloody head. the only problem s we don't know trayvon martin's side of the story because george zimmerman shot him.
so fine for george zimmerman that his friends are coming out and defending him after weeks of silence. but i'm looking forward to the investigation and finding out from independent sources as much as we can about what happened one month ago tonight. >> still waiting for the independent sources to come forward to vet all this. in the meantime, george zimmerman remains a free man, his friends say he's terribly crushed by this incident. does this change anything for george zimmerman about the death of trayvon? >> no, i don't think so. i think this, again, speaks to the incompetence and irresponsibility of the sanford police department. if they had arrested him and charged him, then this would have been investigated concurrently. this is not appropriate for people to be trying this case or making arguments about this case in the public. a young man has lost his life. and i think the police department should have taken
this far more seriously and perhaps we would have found out more about what really happened. but i don't think it makes anyone feel any better because his friends and relatives are making statements -- of course, they're expected to. these are his friends and relatives, after all. >> as you say, it shouldn't be tried in the court of public opinion. however, it's all over the national media, even made its way to the white house. newt gingrich reacted to the president's comments last week about this case. and president obama's adviser david plouffe respond this had weekend. take a listen. >> at some point, we ought to talk about being americans and we ought to talk about when things go wrong to an american, it is sad for all americans. and trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. i really find it appalling. >> there's been broad agreement, universal agreement, including the people running for president, that there ought to be a thorough investigation of this. those comments are reprehensible. and speaker gingrich is clearly in the last throes of his political career. >> jonathan, who made more of the discussion being about race,
the speaker or the president interjecting his own thoughts -- >> clearly, it was newt gingrich. this follows a pattern of newt gingrich saying lots of incendiary things, particularly along a racial line, but also saying incendiary things to earn him the free media that he hopes keeps him relevant in the 2012 republican primary fight, which he's not. so i think president obama was asked that question by our own mike viqueira. i thought the president's answer was picture perfect. he spoke as a father. he spoke as a leader and he spoke as president of the united states. what more would you want from a president to say over a tragedy this horrible. >> as "the new york times" has been offering stories about what took so long for this case being able to grab national media attention. do you think social media is going to be what eventually keep this is story going, keeps everyone interested and
informed? >> well, i think so. i think it has already proven that. but the mainstream media, people are still very interested. one thing about newt gingrich's comments, trayvon martin is an american, african-americans are americans. so it's not a contradiction for the president to say what he said because we're all americans. and whether or not newt gingrich brought up the racial issue, i think he does. i think he's desperate. this is about a young man, people all over the country -- when i flew back monday morning on a plane, i've never been on an airplane where more people were discussing one subject. there were whites, african-americans, latinos on the plane. this has touched every segment of america and people are very, very concerned. >> it's an american issue. gentlemen, i appreciate it. thank you. come on, guys. don't do this. you guys are incredible. >> rick santorum gets testy, mitt romney plays it cool.
meanwhile, newt gingrich is still in the race but a lot of people scratching their head asking why. plus, breaking her silence, the wife of the u.s. soldier accused of killing 17 afghan civilians opens up in an exclusive interview with nbc's matt lauer.o t the day with geico driver casey mears. i told him the secret to saving money on car insurance. he told me the secret to his car setup. first he adjusts... first he adjusts... (sfx:engine revving drowns out gecko's dialogue) then he... then he... (sfx:loud drilling noise continues to drown out gecko's dialogue) ...and a quarter cup of pineapple juice. or was that the secret to his barbecue sauce? hey, "secret" sauce. geico®. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. ♪ why do you whisper, green grass? ♪ [ all ] shh! ♪ why tell the trees what ain't so? ♪ [ male announcer ] dow solutions use vibration reduction technology to help reduce track noise so trains move quieter
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on the issue of health care, that's what i was talking about and i was very clear about. come on, guys. don't do this. you guys are incredible. i was talking about obamacare. and he is the worst because he was the author of romneycare. >> rick santorum growing more and more frustrated by having to defend his own statement that is mitt romney is the worst republican to match up against president obama. santorum took it up a notch during a back and forth with
"the new york times's" jeff zellini. >> what speech did you listen to? stop lying. >> you used the words" worst republican" -- >> he fashioned the blueprint. quit distorting our words. if i see it, it's bull [ bleep ]. >> our political power panel this morning, perry bacon, doug thornell and susan del percio. it's great to have all of you on this morning. perry, i want to start with you. as everybody's watching that, the signs of this process being difficult on the campaign trail this long. are we starting to see crack that is this is getting to rick santorum? >> i think we're seeing signs that he's frustrated. he feels like the media is not helping him. he feels like he can't gain on romney. in that comment, he was not
misquoted. he's trying to, how do i change the game here? romney looks like he's going to win the nomination, a slow process. santorum's trying to change the dynamics of it but he's overattacking it right now. >> doug, these were the type of things newt gingrich could easily turn into his own advantage, the spotlight, that is. point at the media, blame them and gain from it. does santorum have the savvy to do it with this situation? >> it looks like someone needs a vacation. i would agree with rick santorum. if the republicans want to make health care the central issue of this campaign, mitt romney's absolutely the wrong person to be their nominee. this guy was the godfather of the individual mandate. him criticizing health care is like mcdonald's attacking the hamburger. it won't stand the smell test with voters. as far as santorum goes, i think he's just running out of gas. i think he has a tough month in april with some contests he's probably not going to win. it looks like the end is near for him. i think he sees that.
>> newt gingrich might have had it right taking a vacation to greece early on. we take a peek of what happened in louisiana, a strong victory for santorum, falling short of 50%, which meant it wasn't much of a delegate gain. now all the focus goes to wisconsin. does he have to -- we all say, does he have to win there? does he have a shot in wisconsin? >> not right now. i think these comments really do hurt him. going forward, people don't want to see that kind of attack republicans to republicans. that will hurt him going forward. it also shows frankly that he's not ready for primetime. he's not ready for this drawn-out battle if he's this tired and making these kind of mistakes. >> it's a lot of discipline that goes into this. he is going to be on the steps of the supreme court, going there to put himself into this conversation. it is two years since the bill was signed. now it's at the supreme court. he's completely against it. it's going to be interesting to
see if he does interject himself into this conversation and then if rick santorum does lose in wisconsin, the campaign's next message is, let's go win pennsylvania, or will the writing officially be on the wall for him? >> i don't think the writing is on the wall. we're seeing a big demographic divide where states that are more evangelical and conservative, santorum's going to win. he could win five more states in this republican primary. there's no reason for him to get out either because he's not going to get anything from romney. romney's not going to pick him for vp, my guess. >> should romney feel good about his chances in wisconsin? and how should president obama's election team ramp up their political strategy? >> i think april is going to be a good month for mitt romney. there are a number of northeast states that have their primaries. he should win wisconsin. will probably lose pennsylvania.
the president has to feel pretty good about his prospects right now. if you look at head-to-heads, he's doing well at the national level and key battlegrounds. mitt romney's done everything he can to shoot himself in the foot with a lot of gaffes. >> newt gingrich third in louisiana. political options going forward, what are they? >> not much. he really can't hold on much longer. his campaign's already in debt although he has super pac funding, that can't keep him going on the campaign trail. pretty soon it's going to hurt his potential future earning power. >> susan, perry, doug, thanks to all three of you. i appreciate it. >> thank you. right now in the supreme court, arguments over the president's health care law. we'll get an update for you from a lawyer inside that court. plus, tiger roars back, winning his first pga event since the sex scandal that rocked his marriage and his career. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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in a few moments when i sign this bill, all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform. [ applause ] we are not a nation that does what's easy. that's not who we are. that's not how we got here. we are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. >> that was president obama two years ago on the day his health care bill was signed into law. and now, three days of arguments this week will decide whether that law stands or falls in what's being called the super bowl for the supreme court and its watchers today. the justices decide whether the high court has the right to hear the case. tuesday looks at whether congress can actually compel people to buy health insurance. that's going to take two hours. and wednesday splits into two arguments, 90 minutes on the
question of whether the whole law is invalid if part of the law is struck down. and 90 minutes on whether the requirement of states to expand medicaid is constitutional. kevin russell is a partner at goldstein & russell. kevin has argued in front of the supreme court six times and is just coming from listening to the first hour of arguments. it's all about whether or not the courts should be hearing this case before the law has taken full effect. tell us what we've been hearing from both sides so far. >> we're about halfway through the argument on that question this morning. the court has just finished hearing from the lawyer that the court itself appointed to argue that the court should not hear the case this morning. none of the parties have argued that the court shouldn't hear the case. they had to appoint someone to make that argument for them. he's just finished that argument and now the government is making its argument. >> from what you know about the court, do you think the justices could punt this issue until 2014, get us through the
election season right now so this remains nonpoliticized? are they giving any clues? >> they certainly could do that. they were not giving any clues that they had much of an appetite to do that this morning. the attorney who is arguing they shouldn't get the case -- i count at least five justices asking questions that suggest they have the power to decide. >> any notices of what the justices are talking about, you've appeared before them six times, correct me if i'm wrong. but do they come in pretty much informed -- we know they are on this. but talking about with an informed opinion and when they do ask their questions, they're trying to elicit questions that will inform their peers? >> a lot of the justices ask questions that are really more arguments either to their peers
or to the advocates. some of the justices ask questions that show that they have a genuine concern or are looking for help. you saw both kinds of questions today at the court. some of the justices asking questions that really were designed to show that they think that they have jurisdiction to decide the case and some asking for help on how to decide this issue which will have implications. >> kevin russell, thanks for taking time out for us. >> my pleasure. it's hard to ignore the issue of these race days, especially with the trayvon martin case. but it might be even harder to talk about it because of who is in the oval office. plus, rick santorum takes his campaign to washington and straight to the supreme court as health care takes center stage. santorum's national communication director, hogan giddily, joins me next. doers. here's to more saturdays in the sun. and budgets better spent.
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could be the biggest march and rally yet is being planned in sanford tonight for trayvon martin. participants are hoping to draw even bigger numbers than last week's rally which was attended by an estimated 25,000 people. joy-ann reid is on a bus that will soon be en route to sanford for that rally. joy-ann joins us now. explain to us what you're hearing from people on this bus and why they felt compelled to go to this rally. >> reporter: about 60 people rallied to get on this bus in front of the naacp headquarters. their goal is to go down and get justice for trayvon martin. there was a prayer that took place before we boarded the bus, in which the call was for justice globally. there's a sense that trayvon martin represents something bigger than himself. that's what's got people here excited to be a part of this. >> joy-ann, we've been reporting on the fact that the reverend al sharpton is going to be calling on the president to hold a national summit on issues of race in america.
what do you think the thoughts of such a summit being held? what should be primarily discussed right now, because a lot of people want to think because we have president barack obama in office, it means the race issues or the racial divide in this country has been healed. >> reporter: right. and i think that it places sort of a special burden on president barack obama because, look, at the end of the day, he cannot weigh in too deeply on this case because it is being investigated by the government. you don't want a president of the united states weighing in on a day in that particular way. but the larger issue on race is something that president obama has tried to sort of avoid during his presidency and something he spoke to during the campaign. but i think there is a hope that because he is such a unique figure in american history, that he can uniquely address this in some way, whether participating in the forum or just having started the conversation for others to pick up. >> joy-ann, do you mind asking some of the people on the bus why they wanted to come on this rally? >> reporter: no, absolutely.
absolutely, we have a couple of people we definitely want to talk to. i'm going to start with beverly elliott morrison. beverly actually organized this trip. briefly, beverly, why did you feel it was important to do this today? >> actually, it was the president of the urban league that felt that it was important and it was important to me to have more than just 12 people go. so we decided we'd get this bus. one, because of every child, especially those that are on this bus that wears a hoodie is a trayvon martin. this could happen to any child. they're stereotyped because they wear hoodies. we just want justice for the person that was killed. >> reporter: i apologize, i misspoke, not the naacp. this is, in fact, the urban league. i want to talk to roland briefly. roland has decided to go down to sanford -- or up to sanford, actually, for this trip. roland, why did you decide to participate today? >> i decided to come because
this incident has impacted me very heavily. two incidents i really, emmett teal what he was castrated and murdered. the three girls in birmingham, the kennedy assassination -- it's a point in time that you never forget. i support that family and all young black males. she said about wearing hoodies and being racially profiled. we want that man put in jail. we want justice served. >> reporter: as you can see, the trayvon martin case has taken on larger significance, historical import for the people on this bus and for the tens of thousands people who will be rallying today in sanford. >> joy-ann, thank you. safe travels. >> my main message is to the parents of trayvon martin.
if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon. and i think they are right to expect that all of us as americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. >> that was president obama on friday giving his first remarks about the death of the florida teen, trayvon martin. as we mentioned, the president up until friday's comments in the rose garden, had been questioned, even criticized for not addressing the racially fueled debate. it is a topic discussed in a piece in "the washington post" which suggs electing america's first black president has complicated discussions of race in america. joining me this morning is the writer of that piece. it's good to have you here. as we talk about that and try and dive into this conversation, obviously the racial divide subject is one for sensitivity in this country and a lot of people would think that maybe
it's healed because we have our first black president. but you say it isn't so. >> absolutely not. there are so many issues that we still need to work together, work through in this country. and i think it's really hard, particularly with someone like obama in the white house. he symbolized a great accomplishment. and to many, i think his win proves to them that we don't have to talk about race issues. but just as with the martin race proves that race is incredibly dwisive in th ive divisive to work through. so i think like the reverend al sharpton calling for a summit on the race, those things can be really positive and helpful. >> this isn't the first time that the president has had to step into a national discussion about this. we all remember the arrest that happened in cambridge when a police officer there arrested a black professor who was entering into his own house and wasn't
able to get in. there you see professor gates right there. we had the beer summit after that, where the president invited professor gates and the police officer to have beer there with the vice president and himself. this is a much, much bigger deal. it is not going to be solved over any type of libation you could have on the patio. the summit that's going to happen, how much can the president get involved in the bigger conversation to talk about the fact that there is not this -- the healing between the racial divide? >> right, well, i think -- i don't want obama, especially with the ongoing investigation by the attorney general, i think he's absolutely right to pull back. he doesn't need to be involved in something like that. similarly, with the gates situation -- and he got assailed for those comments. but i think -- so the president doesn't have to weigh in on every specific case that's going on. it is the larger comments where he can be helpful.
even with the gates situation, what i was interested that the president mentioned was that he talked about the larger issue of racial profiling. it's the systematic things the president can help us work through. i don't want him to be another al sharpton or jesse jackson. but i think he can help us tell with the larger, con ttextual racial issues in america. talk about some of those -- these big, broad issues. the president can talk about the larger issue of racial profiling. he was a law professor. he understands some of these issues. that's where he can help us. not these individual case, but the larger issues that i hope he can lead us on some of the time, not all the time. it's not his full-time job. i want him to help us fix the economy and all these things. but the disparities are too big to ignore. we don't want these issues to
keep on happening again. since i've been a child, we hear about these issues of young black men getting shot down. i think it's time to talk about why this is happening. the president kind of alluded to that in his speech and he talked about, we need to do some soul searching. but it's time to move beyond that. and i want him to help us out. and i think he's great working through those issues, demonstrated during his candidacy. >> it's a thoughtful and well-done piece. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> absolutely. the body of an iraqi native killed in california is being flown back to her home country for burial. she was taken off life support friday three days after she was found unconscious in her home in san diego. police say she had been brutally beaten and a note next to her body read, go back to your country, you terrorist. police are investing this -- investigating this as a possible hate crime. and for rick santorum, the
shine over a victory in louisiana quickly dimmed. hogan gidley is the national xhooigs communicatio communications director for the santorum campaign. we've talked about how long this process has been. it's tough for the candidates out there. they need to have a lot of discipline to get through this marathon. i want to play the sound again of rick santorum on that, just to put everything in context. >> what speech did you listen to? >> right here. >> stop lying. >> you used the words "worst republican". >> he fashioned the blueprint. i've said it in every speech. quit distorting our words. if i see it, it's bull [ bleep ]. >> hogan that, kind of language, not something we're used to hearing from rick santorum.
is the stress of the campaign starting to wear on him? >> oh, no, look, could there have been a better word? quite possibly. but the fact of the matter is, he had answered the question many times. and the reporter was pushing him a little bit and that's fine. that's part of this whole campaign and that's how it works. but the bottom line is rick was being very adamant about the fact. he's said it all over the country. if we're going to take on barack obama on the issue of health care, then you have to have a candidate who is credible on the issue of health care. mitt romney isn't that candidate. and, look, jeff and i are friends. i know jeff. he's a very good reporter. but at some point in time as a conservative, you don't take on "the new york times," you're really no conservative as all. rick's a fighter. he's an italian kid from a steel town. he doesn't start every fight but he's not going to back down when he's pushed. he's going to fight just as hard
against reporters who are twisting his words. he's going to fight just as hard for the people to get obamacare repealed. that's why he's going to the supreme court today and make an impromptu stop. talk to protesters and to the media out there. >> i want to ask you about this. why does rick santorum want to be at the supreme court, making it part of a campaign appearance for him? >> sure. this is the issue in the upcoming november election. this issue defines this country for probably decades if not for the rest of our country's existence. and the fact of the matter is, this bill, we think, is unconstitutional and takes away the simple freedoms outlined by the constitution. rick has been against that from day one. he's made that a cornerstone of the campaign and he thinks it's important to go out and stand with the people who are protesting the constitutionality of this bill and show them that he's one of them, he's been with them this entire time, he's consistent on the issue and he's going to let them know he stands with them. this is where the fight is happening, at the supreme court.
there's a reason mitt romney isn't here. mitt romney brals wrote this piece of legislation. it's very telling when you have a conservative running for president stop by the supreme court to say, hey, i'm with you guys, this bill is wrong for the country, it takes away our freedoms and i stand with you while mitt romney isn't here. he can't b. he's not credible on the issue. and he cannot take this fight to barack obama in the fall. >> i want to show a clip from your campaign -- >> every day, the residents of this town must come to grips with the harsh reality that a rogue nation and sworn american enemy has become a nuclear threat. >> you have to love it when you break out the deep voice and the ads, the scary stephen king trailer movie thing s. this over the top from the campaign? right now, don't you think the money you should be spending, shouldn't you focus that on the gop front-runner, mitt romney? >> it's funny because when we talk about mitt romney, everyone says we should focus on obama.
when we talk about obama, everyone says we should focus on mitt romney. we have to oust this president. that's the bottom line. that's been our goal from day one. we become the nominee and we have to oust this president. this ad points out the fact that after years of this president, we're a whole lot worse off than they were four years ago. gas prices are higher, iran's closer to a nuclear weapon. and that ad draws the contrast. some of these ads are fun, some are scary. that ad outlines a little bit of both. obamaville, small towns are being crushed by the energy regulations and obamacare, quite frankly. and so that was what the ad did. we just wanted to make that point very clear. this fight is about getting rid of president obama. that's what we've been about from day one. that ad just highlights that. >> hogan gidley, thanks for your time. >> thanks, thomas. at this moment, former vice president dick cheney is recovering in a virginia hospital from a heart transplant.
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we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. pete williams is standing by to fill us in. it's over earlier than people expected? >> reporter: just right on time, in fact, thomas. the issue today was whether everything stops right here. the question was, does roughly a 150-year-old law prevent the supreme court from hearing this lawsuit now? do they have to wait until the central point of this, the individual mandate, kicks in 2014, and can only then people file laws? this is not a show-stopper. there didn't seem to be a single member of the supreme court that bought that argument. basically here's what it says --
this 150-year-old law says, you cannot challenge a federal tax before it goes into effect. if you don't like a tax, you have to pay it and then sue to get your money back. there is a part of the obama health care law that says, if you don't buy insurance, you have to pay a penalty. you pay it based on your income taxes and you pay it on your tax form and it's collected by the irs. so the question was, does that make this law a tax? i don't think there's a single justice on the court who believe that is it's a tax. end of that question. so we're obviously going to go on to the main event, which is the individual mandate, which will be argued tomorrow. and then wednesday, the questions that the court will get to some sort of secondary issues. but i don't think there's a single -- i guess the one thing here, thomas, was if there were any members of the court who were looking for an off-ramp who did not want to decide this case now during an election year, this would have been the way to go. none of them seemed to want to
take that. >> peetd williams, thank you, sir. thank you sir. we're back with much more right after this. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪ [ coughing continues ] [ gasping ] [ elevator bell dings, coughing continues ] [ female announcer ] washington can't ignore the facts.
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all this week, nbc and msnbc are participating in a special series "hiring our heroes" to look at ways to get our best and bravest from the battlefield back in the workforce, a challenge that veterans face now more than ever. right now the national jobless rate remains at 8.3%. but for post 9/11 vets it's at 12.1%. then that number rises even more for vets under 25, nearly 30%. keempb speakal is the vice president of veterans employment initiative at the u.s. chamber
of commerce and joins me this morning. let's start off on this personal note. you're a former lieutenant colonel in the u.s. marine corps. how long did it take you to find work when you returned from service? >> i was lucky. i had a mentor in jim jones, former national security adviser and hired by the chamber itself who understands the value of hiring a veteran. i was hired literally the week after i got out of the military. >> let's talk about what's coming up. on wednesday, the chamber of commerces orrizing is job fairs in new york city, chicago, ft. hood. what do you find the most common obstacle that veterans admit to facing is in their efforts to find work? >> it's clearly transition of skills. i think veterans, especially younger veterans, have a difficult time talk about what they did in the military and explaining to employers how that translates into the workplace. >> there's so many adjustms that need to be made from the battlefield to the home front. what are some things vets can do
themselves in na regard and when it comes to finding their own work where their skills match best to that job. >> they need to do their homework. one of the basic parts of this program was to drive it in the local communities. veterans often think about where they're going versus what they're doing. they need to go where the jobs are. president obama said there are 2 million jobs in america that aren't being filled because we lack a trained workforce. the fact is, veterans can help fill that gap. >> we appreciate all the work you guys are doing there. were vice president keempb smigel. thank you. i do want tonight remind everybody, we're joining forces with nbc on this mission to give our vets a fighting chance at finding work. watch for more "hiring our heros" segment throughout the day. i'm going to see you back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern. among my guests, chip salzman
and bo biden, son of the vice president. now the with alex wagner" comes your way next. what have you got coming up for everybody? >> so much, thomas. we are minutes weight from getting our first peek at what went on in the supreme court this morning. a live report from inside, and a debate how health care will affect the election in november. speaking of which, just who will be running? the general election is still unclear. is rick tantorum santorum showing signs is of strain? and when is an endorsement not really an endorsement? all that plus tim tebow and "the hunger games" when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. [ male announcer ] lately, there's been a seismic shift in what passes for common sense. used to be we socked money away and expected it to grow. then the world changed... and the common sense of retirement planning became anything but common.
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of the national health care law. and rick santorum is getting into a few oral arguments of his own. it's mondays, march 26th. and this is "now." joining me today, msnbc contributor ari melber of the nation, political analyst national fairs editor for new york magazine and darling of the home box office network, john heilemann. patricia murphy of the daily beast, and msnbc political analyst michael eric dyson of georgetown university. the supreme court just wrapped up the first of three days of oral arguments regarding president obama's health care law. the blockbuster case brought scores of protest ares to washington as lawyers argue whether it is constitutional to mandate americans buy insurance. joining us live from the steps of the supreme court, justice correspondent pete williams who was just inside during the first two hours of arguments. pete, thank you for joining the program. >> my pleasure. >> we have heard a lot about the how this is a blockbuster case. we know that the